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878k people flee Ukraine, 1.3m internally displaced: UN

ukraine people flee

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee the country and made well over a million others internally displaced, according to the UN released data.

Some 878,000 Ukrainians are estimated to have been forced to seek asylum in other countries by June 4, said Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  (UNOCHA), in Geneva on Tuesday.

As a result of the conflict, more than 1.3 million people have been forced from their homes as well, he said, citing data provided by authorities in Kiev.

He noted that heavy fighting in the town of Maryinka, close to Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, on June 3, led to further casualties and the displacement of more people in the country.

Ukrainian servicemen sit on an armored personnel carrier as Ukrainian forces pass near Artemivsk in the Donetsk region on June 9, 2015.  (AFP photo)

 

He warned that a shortage of drinking water in Maryinka and the adjacent areas is becoming a growing humanitarian problem.

Over 10,000 people in Maryinka and “thousands of people” in the areas near Lugansk have no access to drinking water, Laerke said.

According to UN estimates, about 5 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid. However, the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine has received only 24 percent of the required USD 316 million to provide the humanitarian aid in Ukraine, he added.

Over 7,000 civilian have been killed, during the 13-month conflict between Kiev forces and pro-Russia fighters in the two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

 

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